New precertification options launched for LEED v4 BD+C and O+M projects | U.S. Green Building Council
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Posted in LEED
Published on
Written by
Posted in LEED

GBCI is now offering LEED precertification as an optional step in the certification process for LEED projects. This allows registered projects to review the work already completed and confirm that projects are on the correct path towards certification. Once a project has successfully completed the precertification review, GBCI will provide formal recognition of the team’s efforts.

In the past, precertification has been unique to LEED BD+C: Core and Shell projects, but as of December 1, 2016, this option will be available for all LEED BD+C projects registered under LEED v4 and LEED v4 O+M projects pursuing the performance path to certification. Precertification helps owners to:

  • Ensure that their project is on the right path to achieve certification through formal GBCI feedback
  • Demonstrate their commitment to LEED certification
  • Market the project to attract potential tenants and financiers who recognize the benefits of a LEED certified building

Projects that have gone through a precertification review will maintain their LEED-registered status, but may also state to the market that they're on the path toward certification.

A precertification review is conducted in the same manner as a combined design and construction review with the exception that no credits or prerequisites are awarded during a precertification review. Such credits are instead marked as "anticipated."

LEED BD+C Precertification

Once a project is registered, the team may choose to apply for precertification by following these steps:

  1. Choose the precertification review option in their certification timeline
  2. Complete the precertification worksheet
  3. Attempt and mark the credits being pursued as ready for review on the Credits tab
  4. Submit for review

LEED O+M Precertification

For LEED O+M projects, precertification is available for projects pursuing the performance path to certification. The precertification documentation and review process all happens within the newly released Arc platform. We offer precertification to provide feedback on compliance with prerequisites early on in the process and ensure your project is set up to track and record performance successfully.

To get started projects should:

  1. Open or register the project in Arc
  2. Complete prerequisites, complete set up for tracking performance and complete the desired base credits
  3. Submit for review


  • SSp Site Management Policy
  • WEp Indoor Water Use Reduction (Establishment requirements only)
  • EAp Energy Efficiency Best Management Practices
  • EAp Minimum Energy Performance (Establishment requirements only)
  • EAp Fundamental Refrigerant Management
  • MRp Ongoing Purchasing and Waste Policy (Establishment requirements only)
  • MRp Facility Maintenance and Renovation Policy
  • EQp Minimum Indoor Air Quality Performance (Establishment requirements only)
  • EQp Environmental Tobacco Smoke Control
  • EQp Green Cleaning Policy (Option 1, In-house Green Cleaning Policy Establishment requirements only, OR Option 2- demonstrate that the cleaning service provider that will be used meets the requirements)

Set up for tracking

  • Complete building set up, energy meter set up and water meter set up for the project’s performance score. All project data fields under the Manage section in Arc must be completed and all applicable meters must be created under the Energy and Water data input sections.
  • Confirm that the project has permanently installed water meters that measure the total potable water use for the building and associated grounds and that these meters have been set up in the Water data input section. This can be done by uploading a narrative to the Water data input section.
  • Confirm that the project has permanently installed building-level energy meters or submeters that can be aggregated to provide building-level data representing total building energy consumption and that these meters have been set up in the Energy data input section. This can be done by uploading a narrative to the Energy data input section.


  • Describe the strategy for continuously measuring and reporting the required energy, water, waste, transportation and human experience performance data, including a plan of action and responsible parties. This can be done by uploading a narrative to the data input sections for each category.

Base score

  • Additional LEED credits contributing towards the Base Score may be submitted during the precertification review. For base credits that have performance requirements, only the Establishment requirements need to be submitted for precertification review

The performance requirements for all LEED prerequisites and any attempted base credits, along with all required performance data and associated documentation, must be documented and submitted for the full certification review.

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Total 3 commentsLeave a comment

Senior Sustainability Consultant, Taitem Engineering, PC
Hello, is the $4,000 precertification flat fee in addition to the standard design and construction certification review fees? And, besides using pre-certification as a marketing tool, you please explain why this is useful for a project? I am having a hard time understanding how an owner could justify spending the large sum of money just on precertification. I don't fully understand why its attractive for an owner. What am I missing? Thanks!
Green Building Specialist @GBCI, India, U.S. Green Building Council
Thank you for your inquiry! Yes, the flat fee of $4000 (member pricing) for Precertification Review is in addition to the full Certification fee (via either Combined/Split review). Please note, Precertification is optional and teams are not required to pursue it. We understand that smaller projects may sometimes find Precertification to be expensive, relatively speaking. However, since it is a flat fee, proportionally, the cost is often very minimal for larger, speculative development projects. Project teams primarily use Precertification as a tool to market the project and to secure funding. It is particularly useful for those LEED projects that may not have the necessary funding in place to build the project. It allows owners and developers to market to potential tenants, buyers and financiers their intention to pursue unique and valuable green features in a proposed building. If the owner/developer of a project has already secured the funding needed, then obtaining pre-certification may not be necessary unless they have alternative needs for marketing of the project prior to completing construction. In addition to this, Precertification may be looked at as a way for the LEED consultants to establish for the owner that the certification level they are targeting is realistically within reach and an opportunity to get some initial feedback from LEED review staff on the proposed project scope (e.g. a way to have reviewers evaluate whether the project qualifies as one or multiple buildings, whether the proposed site boundary is reasonable, etc.). It should be noted though, that the value of these additional functions depends upon the quality & accuracy of the documentation provided for the Precertification review. Note that projects approved for LEED Precertification receive a certificate and letter, and must follow the Trademark and Branding Guidelines set forth here: ( Projects achieving Precertification (and which are marked non confidential) can also be listed in the Project Directory on the USGBC website as "Precertified". I hope I was able to answer your questions, but please feel free to write back to us if you have further questions or feedback, and we will be glad to assist.
Hey, Interesting new precertification, we might look over this one soon. Warm regards, Stephan

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